It was just bad luck, bad luck paired with being unable to not help people in trouble and just run away like any other Gothammites… So when the yellow ball of flame crashed through the buildings, sending bricks and people flying as it exploded Tim ran towards it. The only problem was that Tim and not Robin was the one running to help.
Stopping in shock Tim ducked as another beam of light carved along the ground next to him, digging deep into the pavement the really creepy voice in his head that sounded like Batman was growling that there shouldn’t be any meta’s in Gotham. And definitely not a Green Lantern that normally worked off planet.
Green light splashed over the destruction path, hastily covering the unmoving victims and deflecting the next yellow blast into a different building . More screams erupted as people tried to flee and were caught by addling rubble. Tim rand forwards to where a woman was half moaning, hands flittering about in pain, trapped under a huge piece of stone from one of the buildings. Tim heaved up against it, trying to move the stone that had to weigh more than him.
The green shield flickered and vanished, making Tim look up in worry. The Green Lantern he still hadn’t identified was falling out of the sky, crashing through the street and sending up plumes of dirt and asphalt as the force sent the hero digging a thick landing trench.
Tim froze as the woman under his hands went too silent and a humanoid he’d only seen pictures of in Batman’s database moved slowly after the fallen hero. Dark features were highlighted by the glowing yellow power as the man touched down and stalked forwards into the trench after his downed prey.
Fear and panic was turning into a tight ball of helplessness in his chest. Robin wouldn’t have a chance against the ex-Green Lantern but Tim still needed to buy time and hope that reinforcements would arrive and stop the villain.
Which is why Tim picked up the closet weapon he had, a decent sized rock, and threw it.
There was long moment of oh crap as Tim realized just what he’d thrown and then watched with dread as the rock sail and hit exactly what he was aiming for. Sinestros’s head.
The man stumbled backwards, one hand going to his head and touching at where the rock smashed into him, while looking down at the ground. The yellow power flashed again as his ringed hand extended and then the rock was floating up in a fist of yellow light. Sinestro looked slowly past the rock and locked eyes with Tim. Then the fist clenched and the rock exploded outwards.
Tim turned and ran. Racing for his life into the closest destroyed building, knowing how small he still was he could hide among the rubble and sneak attack Fear Lantern if necessary.
It would have worked if this had been any villain other than a lantern.
A glowing whip snaked around Tim’s ankle and yanked, pulling the young man off his and crashing against the street as he went flying backwards along the ground. His shirt was dragged up around his shoulders with the force, rocks and concrete tearing through his skin, Tim’s fingers were spread wide, trying to find something to hold onto and stop his movement.
Dirt flew up, clogging his nose and mouth, as the tightness around his legs grew harder and whipped him up into the air, left to dangle like a fish as he spun. One quick glance, use his brain before all the blood pooled and made thinking hard, showed that the Green Lantern was still lying motionless in the ditch. But Tim couldn’t tell if it was the motionlessness of death or just critical injuries.
“The human species is a pest.”
Tim was pulled higher into the air, far far away from the ground, to look the Fear Lantern in the eye. Seeing Sinestro rub between his eyes as the alien glared at Tim made him want to giggle.
The world went sideways, and Tim really thought he was going to be sick, as the power holding him flipped him around until he was mere inches away from the alien’s face.
“What was the point of that little human?” Sinestro purred one strong hand wrapping around Tim’s throat as the power released the boy to dangle from his hand. “Now I will kill you and you’ve accomplished nothing in your sacrifice.”
The was coughing, and struggling as Tim’s body reacted to being choked, curling up and hands tearing at the single strong one around his neck. Then he stopped, physically forcing himself to calm down and breathe what air he could get around the fist.
Sinestro’s face twisted into a frown at the blinding insanity filled grin crossing the human’s face. It was one Tim had learned well at Jason’s fists, and was used only in dire circumstances or when he felt like pissing of Jason some more.
When he tried to speak only garbled syllables came out with the fist around his neck still intent on choking him to death.
“What was that human?”
Tim grinned through the sudden rush of oxygen making his head spin, well it felt like everything was spinning around and knowing the alien’s powers he might not be that far off, but he kept the damning grin in place. It seemed to be pissing off Sinestro as much as it did everyone else.
“I would suggest you answer before I grow bored and break your neck.”
“I haven’t accomplished nothing.” Tim laughed hoarsely, already the bruises were forming a lovely purple necklace, as he stared up at Sinestro. “I got exactly what I wanted.”
There was a moment of silence as both tried to stare down the other.
“And what would that be little human?”
Tim grinned again, he was at the perfect angle to see the large gash in the road where the Lantern had fallen. It did take up most of the road.
But it was empty.
Sinestro whirled around, hooking one arm around Tim’s neck and lifting him, flying upwards as he saw the wounded alien flying again, along with other Green Lanterns.
As the hand around his throat tightened, Tim let his head fall back against the Fear Lantern, half giggling in hysteria.
“I just needed to buy some time.”
“Indeed.” Sinestro sounded positively frozen.
“Now what will you do?” Tim giggled again, high on life and adrenaline as the Green Lanterns moved into attack position.
“I still have a hostage.”
Tim’s laughter stopped as he realized that he was in between Sinestro and the hesitating Green Lantern corps.
Tim’s head fell backwards, the world greying out as the arm around his neck tightened, leaving him to watch as the heroes froze in place. There were three of the Lantern Corps, not counting the wounded one that was floating unsteadily, and they were all still as they watched Sinestro.
That was one thing that Heroes never seemed to be able to work around. Hostages. They always caused problems for any hero, and when there was a hostage this close to the villain, well they tended to freeze like a deer in the headlights. Tim had done the same thing a few times, the trick was to keep acting and never let the villain see you flinch.
Too late for that now.
“Sinestro,” Tim was pretty sure the alien talking was a giant bird, one that strangely enough seemed very familiar, but it was hard to be positive when the world faded in and out. “Release the human, you are surrounded, there is little point in continuing.”
“I think I will pass this time old friend.” Sinestro’s breath was hot against Tim’s neck, still freezing him, and there were teeth pressing against his neck. “Now I do believe you Lanterns were going to stand down. Before I crush the child’s neck.”
And yeah, the tiny part of Tim still conscious and paying attention, did feel the sensitive vertebrae in his neck starting to creak and crush together as his neck was twisted. A much larger part of Tim, the bit that never cared if he was conscious or not before it started rambling, decided that the man, alien, behind him was probably serious about killing him.
Yellow light flicked around his vision, turning everything he could still make out yellow, even the Lanterns and that was quite odd. The hand around his throat tightened and tilted his head back more, pulling back until his head was resting on the alien’s chest.
A gasp of pain escaped Tim’s throat, not even noticing in the increasing crushing pain, as his head was held in place. Dimly, everything was buzzing as the world started greying out even as it stayed yellow, someone was still talking and shouting.
“Lanterns, it was a pleasure.” For an alien, Sinestro sounded a lot like Alfred with the amused British voice. “Now back off.”
Tim gasped, air escaping his lungs, and the hand was too tight, there wasn’t enough oxygen getting past his throat. He’d start panicking but that also needed oygen.
Another squeeze turned Tim into a limp puppet against the strong chest, only capable of watching as the heroes started backing away, eyes going glassy. There were more words exchanged, not that Tim heard them as he was a bit past listening, and stayed limp as that seemed to be the best plan for survival.
Possibly. The hand was tightening again and now there was no oxygen getting to his lungs.
Could also be possible that the lack of oxygen was making Tim hallucinate.
And when the world started moving and shouting started in the background, well Tim was past caring if he was about to die, falling back into the darkness of his mind. It was nice and quiet there and it wouldn’t hurt when Sinestro snapped his neck.
The world, and cool oxygen, came back into focus when he was dropped like a sack of rice, or something equally droppable and nudged aside as the alien villain strode past his heaving body. To be fair Tim was too concerned with getting as much oxygen to his lungs to care that he was shoved aside.
There was a metallic and old taste to the air, one Tim recognized but wasn’t in any shape to place, and he was a bit more concerned with the golden whip wrapping around an ankle and dragging him after the villain.
All the while Sinestro was cursing, completely ignoring the humans attempt to get free, walking through metal doorways and prodding things that started humming back. Nails started pulling away from Tim’s fingers as he tried holding onto bolts in the floor, anything to stop the movement, wincing as his fingers slipped and he was dragged over more rough spots.
Spots jagged enough to cut through ropes if only he was bound by those instead.
The whip pulled tight and yanked him into the air, flinging Tim across the room, crashing against another metal wall and crumping into a heap on the floor. Stars burst to life in front of his eyes, and well that was symptom one of a concussion, making Tim squeeze his eyes shut against the dizzying pain and wishing he hadn’t tried to stop Sinestro.
No, he’d still do exactly the same thing if he could go back. Except he’d have grabbed a bigger rock. He would have done it for the nameless woman crushed under a broken wall because she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. As long as Tim was still breathing he would always fight for people like her or his mother. People that never even registered on anyone’s radar. Not the villain because that was just one more victim after countless others, and not on the heroes who saw the bigger picture or had just seen so much death already it didn’t register.
No they’d save a victim like him because he was still alive when they showed up but someone that was already dead by the time they arrived… you can’t save them.
“A human.” Sinestro still sounded like he wasn’t sure if he should be amused or angry. “I would kill you now, but they seem to following rather closely, and I dare say they would take that badly.”
A spaceship. The sound of mechanical workings, the hum of an engine, the stale tasting air clicked. They were on a spaceship. Crap. It made perfect sense though, Sinestro was an alien, of course he’d go up in a fight. Why they were in a spaceship opposed to a bubble of his power didn’t quite make sense but…
“Pathetic,” Sinestro was looking at something on a huge instrument panel, controls the smart part of Tim whispered, one fist banged against the metal like material. “What has happened to the Corps that they would let an enemy go? One life is not more important than many.”
“They have a heart.” Tim spat sitting up against the wall as the world spun, he couldn’t even focus on the red skinned alien, but kept the sneer on his face. Never back down. “What’s the point in saving the whole if you can’t save the parts?”
Footsteps echoed, loud deliberate steps, slowly stalking towards Tim: hunting him. The hand swept past his face, cold air biting at his cheeks with the speed, striking against the metal. Wet heat struck his face, as Sinestro leaned close, so silent that Tim hoped he’d died as he kept his eyes closed.
Tim shivered as the word pressed against his face, the other hand shooting out, trapping him between the two arms. Sucking in a breath, eyes still closed, Tim could feel the heat from the alien’s arms pressing even closer.
“Who taught you that?”
One arm shifted, the gentle finger tracing its way up Tim’s cheek, as the human gasped. Stormy blue eyes opened, staring blankly ahead of him, still trying to blink away the dark spots. Trying to hide his shiver as Tim made out the white slash of grinning fangs against the red smudge of the alien’s skin.
The hand trailed down his face, rubbing at the quivering bottom lip, and pressing against the bruised neck. Skin Tim knew was already darkening into a lovely purple shade of hidden blood, and he could feel the blood in his neck pulse as the alien nails tapped out a rhythm against his throat.
“Some well-meaning fool has led you horribly astray.”
Tim’s eyes finally cleared as he looked up to meet the burning yellow gaze. Yellow eyes that were staring through Tim as they studied and catalogued the human’s reactions.
“Then why bother to keep me alive?” Tim bit out the words, trying to keep his fear from showing. Anyone in their right mind would be scared of this man staring at him from millimeters away.
“Well there is the unfortunate occurrence that you are in fact the smartest creature I have spoken with in quite some time.”
Tim breathed in shallowly as the red face cocked, the cat staring at a plump canary, and studied him intently. The fingers against his pulse tapped again, prompting another shiver, as Sinestro spoke.
“I’m not sure whether this is a slight on the company I have been forced to keep or a blessing that there are humans capable of higher thought. Your Lantern counterparts seem horribly deprived.” Sinestro continued watching, and feeling, the movement of the human child’s neck as he swallowed.
A cough was Tim’s only answer, wishing he could rub at the bruised skin of his neck, but not daring to move with the villain so close.
And Sinestro grinned again, a bright smug thing causing Tim to press backwards.
“It occurs to me. There are three Lanterns following my ship.” Sinestro said quite slowly, hand lifting up a lock of dark hair and rubbing it back and forth between his fingers. “Each one of them could be saving lives somewhere and instead here they are trying to save one human life. I wonder why that is?”
That…was a really good question.
One Tim had no answer for, other than one of them might know who he was, Sinestro was right. If they were just following there was no real reason for them not to have attacked yet… Unless they weren’t truly following or there was some bigger plan in play that Tim was missing.
The hand moved back as Tim’s mouth opened, pressing his lips closed again, forefinger tapping against the boy’s nose in thought. Burning yellow eyes narrowed, reminding Tim terribly of a large cat with a mouse, the face moving forwards until the alien was breathing in the human’s desperate exhales.
“My species is not known for a great sense of smell,” The words were purred as they curled around Tim’s face, or vision, but I have always been good with faces, voices, I make it a point to remember my enemies.”
The only sound was the mechanical whine of engines Tim couldn’t see. He had never seen Sinestro before, there were only a few pictures in Bruce’s database, and that was by luck.
“You seem confused,” Sinestro noted, the hand petting the boy’s hair wound tighter as it dragged him to one side. “I’m sure you are familiar as well with the idea of studying ones enemies. Even ones you have not yet fought against.”
The boy froze in place, staring back into the burning gaze, as certain things started clicking into place. Batman had gone up against Sinestro before and his notes mentioned how prepared the villain was.
“Tell me.” The hand in Tim’s hair moved his head to lean against the muscled arm. “How many Robins has Batman gone through now?”
Tim’s breath hitched.
Sinestro stood, yanking Tim to his feet with the hand curled through dark hair, pulling him through the doorway.
“This works quite well for me, hostage and bait all in one.” Sinestro whispered into one ear as he pushed the boy ahead of him. “I do need the Lanterns in a certain place but I was at a loss as how to convince them to follow me.”
A door opened in the ship, revealing that Sinestro was a creature of comfort based off the large bed that seemed almost out of place, and Tim was thrown inwards. There was a moment of panic, as Tim expected the whip to smack him against the wall again, only to land on the bed and bounce under the smug eye of Sinestro.
“The Corps will always do everything in their power to save a life, much to my everlasting dismay, and they would never let me get away with an ally.”
“How did you know?” Tim asked roughly, pain ripping through his throat as he questioned.
Sinestro said nothing, smiling again with smug white fangs, as he stepped back through the doorway.
“Wait!” Tim sat up, hand against his neck trying to yell around the pain. “Did you plan this? Did you kill those people because-“
The door slammed shut, locked clearly engaging as Tim froze in his place on the bed. Staring at the door in horror as his next words echoed.
“Did you kill them because of me?”
If he’d been anywhere else Tim could have fallen asleep happily on the plush bed. Really happy because it was a nice and huge comfy bed with lots of sheet and covers. But the not sleeping wasn’t all that bad considering the concussion, but still… He was either relaxing in his kidnapper’s bed or his visit had been really planned for. Tim wanted to say it wasn’t likely, in his experience super villain kidnappers weren’t likely to care if their hostage was comfy or not.
Tim had collapsed on the bed, currently studying the ceiling as his thoughts ran amok. Well trying he was trying to think of escape plans but he kept coming back to the buildings Sinestro had destroyed. Buildings and people that might have been targeted just because Sinestro had been after him.
Thinking back to that woman made Tim break out in cold shudders, goose bumps trailing up his arms, remembering the way he felt as she died. One moment there’d still been hope to save her and the next he was holding a corpse’s hand. Tim shivered again, falling off the bed and crawling unsteadily into the corner farthest from the door, pressing tight against the wall and trying not to remember the cries of dying people.
It wasn’t something you could ever forget. It would be wrong to ever forget those sounds when it was his fault.
Rolling to his feet, still a bit unsteadily but no time like the present, Tim walked towards the door. Actually… he stopped and stared at his feet and the normal looking sneakers. They were normal, really normal with absolutely nothing special about them, and certainly no hidden tricks Tim could really use right about now.
That was something he would change in the future. All sneakers and shoes would be modified to have secret compartments for important tools. Like lock picks and candy bars because he seriously needed a candy bar. They helped his thought process.
Of course the thing about absolutely normal sneakers was that they weren’t stealth sneakers. Another thing he needed to invent. Just twitching produced some kind of noise and that Tim did not need.
Sneakers were quickly yanked off and tossed onto the bed, socks were also taken off but rolled up and stuffed into his pockets. Thinking of pockets… Tim fished around in his pockets. There were some coins, a really oversized paperclip, and other odds and ends. Oooh what’s this?. Tim was grinning widely as he pulled out the collapsible screwdriver.
Now this would be very useful.
First thing first. Tim was still a bit wobbly, the thudding in his head was approaching thunder storm and percussion section levels, but he still made his way around the room checking for any way out other than the door. Of which there was none. Of course there were none, Batman’s files on Sinestro weren’t as extensive as say the Joker or Lex Luthor, but everything mentioned how smart Sinestro was and how he had careful plans. Really, knowing what the file said about Sinestro Tim had a hard time understanding how he was ever beaten.
Something’s just didn’t make sense. But Tim was more concerned that the only exit to the room was the main door and he couldn’t get the keypad to work. Tim didn’t even want to try using the screwdriver on it in case he got the door stuck closed instead of open. Maybe if he even the faintest clue of what the controls were he try. But space ships weren’t part of Bruce’s training.
Still. Sinestro would come back at some point and Tim knew exactly how to prepare for that.
He got to work quickly, yanking the covers off the bad and wadding the under sheets up into a human shape with his shoes at one end, then he pulled the top blanket over it all. It would only be believable for a few seconds, then Sinestro would figure it out, but sometimes seconds was all you needed.
The door opened much later, felt like hours later to the hidden vigilante, the tall Fear Lantern stalking in as his eyes went immediately to the occupied bed. The ring went up, yellow glowing like stretching out to rip away the covers.
One spit second of silence as the covers floated to one side and revealed bunched up and torn sheets.
Sinestro was already spinning around when he saw the flash of silver metal stabbing towards him. The ring hand swung towards the stabbing arm, watching in surprise as his hostage ducked too quickly under the moving yellow light, lunging forwards and sinking the metal into Sinestro’s ring arm.
Roaring filled the air as all of Tim’s weight hit him, bowling them both over to the ground, the boy immediately pulling back and stabbing the alien’s stronger arm with the screwdriver. Again, and again, and again as blood flew and stained the air along with Tim’s face. Sinestro bucked under Tim’s slight weight as he tried grabbing the boy with his other arm, tearing holes in the delicate skin, and getting more metal stabbed into his palm for his trouble.
Tim kept attacking, hitting with moves Lady Shiva had taught him that he never thought to use, stabbing down with the screwdriver and thick paperclip. Not noticing or caring about the wounds Sinestro was giving him in return. Sinestro growled curses again as he kicked out into center mass, throwing the boy away from him, as he grunted in pain and grimaced at both wounded arms.
He was on his knees, as the boy was getting up and running. The footsteps starting to racing away, bare fleet slapping against the floor, as Tim took off through the opened door. Sinestro growled again as he got to his knees, the loud animal noise echoing down the corridor, ripping twisted metal out of his palm and screwdriver out of his bleeding arm.
Then Sinestro was standing, angry sneer crossing his face even as his eyes gleamed in excitement, and stalked out of the room after his fleeing hostage. A slow stalk after his prey like the apex predator he was.
Tim was skidding down the hall, bouncing off walls as he ran harder, knowing that the powerful alien could be mere seconds behind him. His bare feet slapped against the corridors, almost making as much noise as his sneakers would have made in his hurry, stark fleshy sounds as he sped through the open corridors.
And there were too many corridors. Way too many. Or Tm was slowing down without realizing it.
He couldn’t hear anything behind him, but had Sinestro ever made noise when he wasn’t talking?, Tim had no idea. And he was to busy trying to find some kind of escape pods or mainframe, or even someplace he could stay hidden in, to care about the man. If he could get away, then he wouldn’t need to worry about Sinestro.
Tim skidded to a halt as he stumbled into the large control room he’d first woken up in. Now this was more like it. Hurrying over to the control panels Sinestro had been poking at, Tim scanned the many buttons and flashing lights and what at first glance was a sonar.
That made him pause, precious seconds ticking away, and stare at the reading with the three tiny dots keeping up with the centered ship at an even pace. The Lanterns really were following them.
Tim’s breathe caught in his throat as a plan formed in his head. It wasn’t a real plan, or anywhere close to a sane plan, but if the Lanterns were following that close… He just needed to step outside the ship.
Sinestro bent his head backwards and sniffed the air. As he told the boy, his sense of smell wasn’t above any normal standards, but fear… Fear he could taste in the air. Fear from the boy, the young man, so foolishly trying to run from him when they were both trapped inside the ship.
His ring would protect him from the destroying nothingness of space, but there was nothing for the boy to escape in, no space that he would be able to run to, to save himself. The boy was trapped. It was just a matter of time before Sinestro had him back under his hand. And then he would make sure that the human knew exactly who was in charge.
He stepped into the command room, smirking at the few drops of blood the boy probably didn’t even notice splashing to the floor, the thick fear was so strong here he could feel it wrapping lovingly around his body and taste it so very well.
The stalking continued, following the droplets of blood so nicely leaving a trail to the fleeing human, and Sinestro’s smile grew wider. He could possibly be fond of the human child. A human, with nothing but the items in his pockets Sinestro hadn’t thought could be used against him, and here he was bleeding and trailing after the young vigilante hero. If the young man lived longer he would be a very dangerous enemy.
Probably for the best than that the human would not be living past his time with Sinestro.
Tim banged against the wall, falling to the floor as the world spun again and his legs went limp, looking down he could see the bleeding holes in his arm. There was blood dribbling down his arm and splattering against the floor, and more was sliding down his face like bleeding tears, Tim blinked as the world spun away.
He needed to keep moving, crawling a few feet before he made it back to his feet, and then running again. The corridors still felt endless when he fell to his knees again. But that… That looked like an emergency hatch to the outside. To the deep cold space beyond the protective walls of the ship. That looked like freedom.
His hands were on the door, gazing almost blankly at the control panel next to the exit portal, before punching at key pad. There had to be some easy way to open the door, he could see it was a two part exit, a small space followed by another door so that the ships actual integrity wouldn’t be compromised.
And it wasn’t working, Tim grabbed at the panel hoping he could rip it away with his fingers, there was nothing left he could use on the panel other than his fingers. It didn’t matter if it was zapping him with an electrical feeling, or if his fingers were being shredded against cold metal. He just needed-
Tim fell forwards into the small space, one bleeding hand smacking against the outer door, now he just needed to close the inner one and he would make it. I’m going to make it! The empty space scared him but the Lanterns were so close and they would save him.
Tim flew backwards away from escape before he felt the whip curl around his ankle and tug. On the ground and being dragged backwards much too quickly as his hands scrabbled at the floor trying to find a hold even as his fingers ripped further and nails were pulled off completely.
Another whip snagged his right wrist, pulling him over onto his back as the golden steel wrapped further around his arm, and his escape was vanishing like a daydream. Breathe hitching as he panicked, pulled across the floor with nothing to stop his movement, Tim’s eyes were huge dilated pits as he stopped and a foot pressed against his ribs. Keeping him trapped in place on the floor.
Sinestro stared down at him, eyes sliding up and down his body: observing the heaving chest under his foot, the wide panicked eyes, and the delicious bouquet of fear emanating from the almost still figure. The fear master leaned down, crushing the body further as he tried squirming away, pressing his non-ringed hand against the child’s face.
“Did you really think that you would escape?”
Tim’s breathe hitched more as the foot on his chest kept him from drawing in enough oxygen. His mouth opened and closed as he tried to speak. There was nothing to say. Flinching as the red skinned hand moved slowly and gently traced his cheek and lips.
“It was a decent attempt.” Sinestro’s mouth was still but his eyes were smirking at the quivering human as he stood straight. “Were you hoping the Green Lanterns would catch you before space crushed you?”
Tim was silent, just matching the amused stare, as he was pulled to his feet. He stayed frozen in place as the golden whips changed to thick rope wrapping around his entire body and pulling him up against Sinestro’s body.
“They would not have made it. The Lanterns don’t react well to surprises or any deviations from the norm.” Sinestro’s head cocked before he slowly and obviously looked past the human to the hatch leading to cold space.
Once again the hand came back, tracing Tim’s features, before moving and gripping the back of Tim’s neck and hair. Tim’s head was pulled back, baring his shuddering throat, as Sinestro pressed his face into Tim’s neck. Breathing deeply of the fear spilling off the human’s skin before he licked at the sweaty skin, grinning wide as the human’s body shuddered, and a near silent whine of fear broke past pale lips.
“But perhaps I really should take care of them. I do dislike having to kill any of my previous allies when they can still be coaxed to my side. But we must occasionally do what we detest.”
Sinestro stepped back, seeming to ignore the human, stalking back down the halls Tim had been so desperate to escape. Doing nothing more than a brief gesture that tightened the golden ropes around Tim’s body, dragging him along the hall behind Sinestro, and watching in fear as he was taken back to the main control room.
The alien villain was moving steadily, not to quickly or to sedately, as he stepped before the control panels. Tim would have said something, wanted to say something anything to distract both Sinestro and himself from the terrifying feeling of doom sinking in his chest, but the rope moved like Sinestro expected words. The rope was crawling up around Tim’s throat and mouth, keeping the boy silent, with only enough oxygen getting past the bonds to keep the human conscious.
Tim had no knowledge of space ships, he knew this so very well now, but he could recognize a targeting system locking onto the three following lights Tim thought to be the Lanterns. Sinestro gestured again, pulling Tim’s mummified figure up close beside him, dropping his hand back on the boy’s neck as he typed a few more commands on the keyboard like object.
Oh gods no you can’t.
When the long red finger pressed one last button, the pause so long that pins were dropping like flies in the silence, and then more dots appeared on the sonar. Tim’s breathe caught in his throat, tears starting to pool in the corners of his eyes, as he watched three red dots moving quickly towards the steady green ones.
As the red dots moved quicker, Tim could hear beeping in his head, taken back to listening to missiles coming ever closer with homing pings. He could hear the screaming from the Gotham streets and the nameless woman dying under his hand. All because of him.
The blinking red and green points connected
Tim blanked out, collapsing until Sinestro’s glowing power was all that held him in place, as the green lights of the following Lanterns vanished. Completely vanished, somewhere out there were three dead men. Because of him there wouldn’t be enough left for any family or friends to ever identify.
They were just gone.
The golden rope slithered away, letting Tim fall to his knees and lean against Sinestro’s strong legs, just staring blankly ahead of him. His throat was working hard, moving up and down as he tried to keep from vomiting, before he finally swallowed and let his head fall forwards.
Sinestro’s hand weaved through the longish black hair, pulling tight and forcing the human’s head back, meeting the blank gaze of Tim’s shuddering form. Blue eyes glanced back, still blank, before he started blinking quickly. The tears were pushed away, hidden away, as Tim kept blinking and glaring back at Sinestro.
There was still a hole in his chest where he had caused more death. But Tim had to work around that, couldn’t let it keep him back, if he wanted to live through his first space trip. And if he had surprised and gotten past the Yellow Lantern once, then he could do it again.
Tim’s hair was yanked harshly as he was pulled to his feet against Sinestro’s chest. The red skinned alien was staring down at him in deep suspicion as he held Tim against his chest, the one hand in the human’s hair controlling his movement.
“Are you plotting?” Sinestro’s head cocked, his thinking tell, as he eyed Tim. “You are on a spaceship boy. There is no way off without landing at our destination or someone protecting you with a ring.”
Tim grinned widely, tasting blood and realizing his lip had been split open at some point, as he glared up at Sinestro.
“Are you sure?” Tim was still grinning even with the disgusting taste of copper filling his mouth. “The Green Lanterns always seem to beat you in the end, no matter what your grand plan is, what makes you think this will be any different?”
Sinestro was silent and blank faced. No smile or grimace pulled at his lips and his eyes were soulless pits as he gazed down at the human boy.
“You are sure of that are you?” Sinestro asked, not a question so much as an observation, still staring through the human under his hand. “So sure that someone will come to rescue you.”
“If you didn’t think someone will come after me, I wouldn’t still be alive.” Tim bit back. “I will find some way to escape or contact help. You didn’t stop me from getting away now.”
“There was no reason to.” Sinestro was still staring looking much too serious as more dread started the cold slide down Tim’s spine. “You are trapped human.”
Tim’s jaw set, sticking out in stubbornness, as he gazed back just as quietly.
“But…” Sinestro’s hand, the ringed one, wrapped around Tim’s neck and squeezed. “I should teach you your place human.”
Tim was shoved backwards over the console, sharp something’s stabbing into his back, as Sinestro forced him backwards against the console. He groaned as his head crashed backwards, bolts of pain mixing with his nausea, as Sinestro pressed closer as he twisted Tim’s neck to one side. Crushing the teen’s face against the buttons of the control panel.
“You’re so afraid I can taste it.”
Shudders wracked Tim’s body at the whispered words while heated lips pressed against his neck, sending ants crawling up his spine in that very same fear, a nail pressing under his chin, stabbing, into the soft flesh. He gasped as around his neck dug deeper while Sinestro laughed quietly. One single huff of breath, barely touching Tim’s skin, as the alien laughed.
The backhand sent Tim spinning to the floor, gasping in pain as his teeth bit into his tongue and blood started spilling in copper waves across his teeth and the floor, as his body shook and his head slammed down against the hard floor. Looking up, gasping at the two Sinestro’s stalking across the floor, the image flickered and twisted back into one hostile villain as each measured step took him closer to Tim. For the first time in his life, Tim felt like prey.
“So why don’t you act afraid?”
The feet stopped next to Tim’s splayed out form, wide blue eyes looking up to meet the narrowed utterly inhuman eyes glaring back, just inches away as he tried to crawl backwards. One foot, horrifyingly gentle, as it toed his side before snapping back and kicking out at the ribs, sending Tim flying backwards only to be stopped by the solid wall. He curled onto his side as he gasped for breath, hands tight around his ribs, as he tried to stand only falling back to his knees as the deliberately loud steps started stalking him again.
It felt like forever before Tim got oxygen back into his lungs, face turning red and purple as he struggled, the panic and the darkness trying to edge in with each missed breath. The blackness started backing off, spots disappearing from his eyes in time to dodge the next kick.
Gasping as the foot whistled past Tim’s large eyes and shaking the metal behind him with the impact. Eyes narrowed to pinpricks in unadulterated fear as wind brushed his cheek and the metal kept shaking.
Tim’s breath hitched in his chest as Sinestro said his name. All the building fear hitting home and threatening to overwhelm him like a tidal wave of terror. He could never go home after this, just in case Sinestro didn’t know who was behind Batman’s mask, he couldn’t ever see his friends again in case he led the insane psychopath to them.
“I’m always scared. Always.” Tim whispered as the foot pulled back for another kick. “Every second of every day, because something’s always going wrong, or someone’s hurt or in danger, and I can’t help. Nothing you could do could ever make me more scared. I live with fear, it’s my closet friend, and you can’t fucking use it against me.”
Tim was panting as he met the cold glass eyes, in fear certainly and anger and desperation. The look in those eyes. The need to break something, to destroy until there was nothing left to oppose. Tim had just signed his life away.
“I am a reasonable man Mister Drake.” Sinestro’s eyes were cold and dead pits of honey even as he grinned down. “But you ‘heroes’ never learn unless something is hammered through your head. Even then I would doubt that you could learn quickly.”
Swallowing, unable to get past the lump of fear in his throat, Tim just shuddered as he saw insanity.
The hand reached down in slow motion, Tim could make out the separate ripples of muscles as it moved closer, and grabbed his neck. The fist tightened, pulling Tim up and shoving him against the wall, as the spots of darkness moved in.
He clawed out, fingers catching on fabric and clawing through exposed skin, Sinestro was blank faced anger as he bounced the boy’s head against the wall. Slamming Tim against the metal wall again and again, until he hung limply from the strong hands.
“Why don’t you freeze in fear?” Sinestro asked again as Tim hung limply between his hands. “The fear that crawls through your veins and seizes you heart as it beats so hard and you can feel it when it explodes in terror and there is nothing you can do. You asked for this.”
The pause was heavy, Tim’s stormy blue eyes, limp and glazing in pain as he met the glowing yellow, and glaring as his head was held in place by the fingers around his neck.
“What would be the point,” Tim gasped, baring his teeth in anger, he was so afraid but, Sinestro had already ruined anything and he wasn’t going to let the alien just get away with that, no matter what the cost. “Just because I’m afraid doesn’t mean I will stop. Everyone sleeps sometime.”
The smile spreading across Sinestro’s face reminded Tim of Alfred, that same British ‘you’re underestimating me’ smile so often used.
“You are right.” Sinestro took a step back, carefully setting Tim back on his feet and holding the boy in place as his knees buckled. “But so do you, little human.”
Tim’s eyes widened as the yellow grew to envelope him again and it wasn’t painful, not like before when it felt so close to dying as the darkness came, but his breathing was coming to slow and harsh and it couldn’t get past the hold on his throat…
Waking up Tim was still dizzy and nauseous and his head was pounding, he still recognized the soft comfy sheets of the bed covering him this time, before letting his unfocused gaze fix on the ceiling. A couple short breathes later confirmed that he was breathing easily and Sinestro probably wasn’t around in that case. And the cold thickness against his wrists and one ankle was probably cuffs and chains.
“Must you pretend unconsciousness?”
Sinestro’s voice sent a shudder along Tim’s body as he sat up, wriggling up against the wall as the chains around his wrists tightened, tentatively pulling his legs closer as he checked. Yes he was right about the chains, glaring at the alien in the thick silence, metal cutting into his skin.
“Must you kidnap me and kill innocent people?” Tim didn’t actually snarl, but it was really close, as he glared back and yanked on the chains. Why one leg was free he had no clue… and he really didn’t want to know why. “They probably were just as upset about it.”
“The loss of life is regrettable, very regrettable in the case of innocent civilian life, but it does increase the importance of the mission.” Sinestro was leaning back in the chair that had appeared in the room sometime after Tim had first escaped. Posing like some kind of conquering hero, villain, in his chair as he smiled smugly over Tim.
Tim tried to ignore Sinesto’s smug glances. Hands bending and twisting as he tried to reach the metal cuffs and find the lock. But he couldn’t get his hands near each other and they would bend enough to help.
“Then why did you kill them?” Tim glared again as his seeking hands found nothing. “They didn’t even know who you were.”
“As I said; regrettable but an unfortunate necessity.” Sinestro stood, unfolding gracefully like the large predator he was, eyeing Tim in amusement as he moved across the room, still watching with deadened eyes.
“An ‘unfortunate necessity’?” Tim growled as his hands could find no hinge or opening, and he couldn’t even tell if there was one with the angle. “Those are people’s lives you’re talking about.”
“For the greater good a few lives can be spared.” Sinestro said mildly as he walked ever closer to the bed, one long fingered hand trailing along the silken fabric, before grabbing Tim’s bound ankle.
The vigilante spasmed in pain as the hand squeezed and he could feel the thick bones grinding together as they were crushed. Blood filled his mouth as he bit into his lip, the disgusting taste of fresh pennies making him gag and cough blood droplets, and dripping down his face and throat as the ruby liquid escaped.
“How many does a few add up to?” Tim asked quietly, spluttering around the blood, as Sinestro leaned over him and stared through him.
Sinestro watched him calmly. Head cocked like a bird, like that Lantern that had tried to save Tim before Sinestro had killed them without blinking, as he eyed the bound young man. Tim was… blood dripped down his dry throat, insides shriveling in sudden uncertainty at that look of appraisal.
“As many as I need.” Sinestro was still so fucking calm it was unnerving. Like looking into the center of a storm and knowing that you were just seconds away from the most dangerous part. “Would you trade places with one of them?”
“What?” Tim’s voice shook. He’d seen that look before, but he couldn’t remember, and he knew it was dangerous. There was something wrong, horribly wrong, with that look. “I don’t understand.”
“Would you put another in your position if it ‘saved’ their life?” Sinestro was starting to smirk as the stench of Tim’s fear thickened in the air. Grinning like a carnivore over its prey as one hand braced him against the bed, and the other gripped Tim’s jaw.
“Don’t worry.” Sinestro purred slowly as his frozen fingers brushed Tim’s too hot skin. “You’ll understand. You did say there was nothing I could do to make you more afraid.”
Tim met the look, full of hunger and the need to destroy, and remember where he’d seen it. And he would never trade place with anyone.